Monday 22 August 2011

Holes in the KM Framework - no silver bullet

holy bucketPicture referenced below One of the benefits of looking at Knowledge Management through the lens of a framework and not a toolbox (as described in my blog post - "knowledge evolution"), is that it makes it easier to see "what's missing".

Generally, what we find missing is - lots of things! By which I mean, very rarely do we find a KM framework with only one item missing. Usually there are lots of holes.

There are common holes - the common ones being related to elements of governance, several of the roles and accountabilities, and the issues of knowledge re-use and reapplication. And then there are company-specific holes - blindspots, or gaps in the technology system. The other week I visited a company who's KM approach was a toolbox-based approach, and they had many tools for knowledge collection and generation of content, but the entire side of the framework looking at knowledge synthesis and collation was missing. Already they were running into issues of what to do with contradictory or out-of-date content.

If there are lots of holes in the framework, then of course there is no "silver bullet" or (to avoid mixed metaphors) no simple patch. If you close one hole, then the framework still won't be effective, as many other holes stay open. Like a leaky bucket, closing one hole does not seal the bucket.

The benefit of the Framework approach, is that you can close all the holes in one go, and show that KM actually does "hold water". This takes more thought, more planning and more understanding than introducing a few tools, but in the long run will avoid false starts, and will avoid presenting the company with a leaky bucket labelled "knowledge management".

Picture uploaded by: mabelscritterart
In Webshots channel: outdoors

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